A Season of Change

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Seeing Things in a Different Light
     One Sunday morning I watched one of our sweet ladies walk toward the church.  Completely put together from head to toe as always, but she walks with a cane now.  She is one of those ladies that, is a very dignified lady.  I used to think that she was a little stuffy until I gave myself the chance to get to know her.  I mean really know her. She has a great sense of humor and a love for God that is evident when you talk to her.  As I watched, I thought, she used to be me. My age with grown children and grandchildren.  I look at the young mothers and think, I used to be them; a young woman, wrestling with small children all the while trying to keep my skirt down as they climb all over me.
 Changing Roles
     We have goals from the very beginning.  We want to learn to walk and talk, start school and finish it, start another school and finish it.  We want to fall in love, have children and watch them grow up, we work to mold them into strong, God serving, productive citizens.  They start school and finish and start another one and finish that one, too.  They fall in love and have children of their own and then it’s their turn to mold their children.  My how life changes.  One day you are the young child on the swing, the young woman in love, the young mother with her children, the grandmother, great-grandmother and if we live to see it, the great-great-grandmother.  How many times did we long for the day that the kids will be out of the house so we can have some peace and quiet and then the peace and quiet screams at us.
Learning Thankfulness
     As we go about our daily lives wishing and hoping for what we don’t have instead of enjoying the blessing of what we have right now, we want to rush things.  I wish I could drive. I wish he would learn to walk. I have always heard that youth is wasted on the young.  I don’t know about that, but I do know that after you have been through the years, you learn a thing or two.  I wish, I wish, oh, how I wish I could take back those wishes and relive some of those times. Times when our parents were young and herding the 4 of us kids to get to where we are going. When the best smell in the world was grandpa’s pipe, or Momma’s cooking or the smell of a new born baby’s head. Time marches on and we grow older;  we experience love and loss.  This is the way it was meant to be.  We are not put on this Earth to live forever but just for a season. Be thankful for the season that you are in at this moment because in the next moment it is whisked away. Learn to be thankful.
There is an appointed time for everything. And there is a time for every event under heaven— Ecclesiastes 3:1
 

The Best Vanilla Cheese Cake

I have to admit that I tend to over extend myself.  If someone asks me to do something for them, then yes, of course I will be happy to help you out.  My daughter got married on October 1.  One of her bridesmaids was getting married the next weekend and yet another was getting married the next weekend.  You read right, 3 weddings in 3 week.  Our family tends to just go ahead and adopt people that come into our lives so of course when bridesmaid #1 asked if I would make cheese cakes for the wedding, I couldn’t tell her no.  Now mind you that I haven’t ever made a cheese cake (the kind you bake).  It’s no problem! I can handle it.  I search and searched the internet and found so many that sounded good but cheese cake is very time consuming. I looked and looked and found the following recipe that was tasty and not as labor intense as most of the recipes I found. Thank you to The Recipe Rebel. The cheesecakes were a big success. Here’s the recipe I used:

Crust

2 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs

1/3 cup butter, melted

1 tablespoon sugar

Cake

3 (8 ounce) packages light (oz. regular) cream cheese

1 1/2 cups granulated sugar

4 large eggs

4 teaspoons lemon juice

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

a pinch of salt

3 cups light sour cream or 0% Greek yogurt

Instructions

1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F and lightly grease a 10″ Springform pan.
2. In a medium bowl, combine graham cracker crumbs, melted butter and sugar. Press into the prepared pan and up the sides about 1 inch. Bake for12-15 minutes or until firm, no longer moist. When done, reduce the oven heat to 275 degrees F.
3. Meanwhile, prepare your filling. In a large bowl, beat cream cheese until smooth. Add sugar, eggs, lemon juice, vanilla and salt and beat on low until smooth.
4. Add sour cream and beat on low until combined.
5. Pour into crust and smooth the top. Bake at 275 degrees F for about 2 hours or i\until the outer 2 inches are set but the center is still jiggly. Turn the oven off and let sit in warm oven for 1 hour. Remove from the oven and let cool to room temperature before chilling in the fridge completely.
7. Baked cheese cakes store perfectly in the fridge for a few days and they freeze wonderfully as well!

 

For more great recipes like this, visit Recipe Rebel at: http://www.thereciperebel.com

Fall Crafts: Painting Pumpkins

There are so many different ideas out there for Fall crafts with kiddos. If you have a toddler with the attention span of a jelly bean like my little guy has, you may hear the word “paint” and immediately cringe. I wanted to include my son in some of my fall decorations and had seen so many posts where parents were letting their babies younger than mine paint pumpkins for fall/Halloween! Here is my pumpkin painting experience with my little Aaron and a few things to remember if you plan on trying this!

img_6608 img_6607

First of all, get your supplies together.

  1. Paint: I used Sargent Art Art-Time tempera paint. I pulled 4 colors for our pumpkin, but of course you can make it as plain or vibrant as you want.
  2. Brushes: It would be easy to use ANY kind of brush for this project, but I honestly thought that my son would be more interested in using his hands than a paint brush. I used regular craft sponge brushes that are only about 1″ wide, because that’s what I already had at the house. Periodically I buy these exact same brushes with the intent of painting SOMETHING, but that doesn’t always happen. They are fairly cheap and my favorite part: you can throw them away and not feel bad about losing money on a foam brush!
  3. Something to keep your paint on. I used a paper plate, but you can use cups or bowls. Since I know that I will be the one cleaning up the mess, I suggest using as many disposable items as possible. I also used a 30 gallon clear trash bag to keep the pumpkin on. Some of you may not mind if your grass is painted, but I want to teach him to do things as clean as possible for my sake!
  4. Old clothes! In some of the pictures, you may notice what my son is wearing–stylish, right? He’ll get all the ladies! These are actually clothes that he is starting to out-grow, so I used them since they will be boxed up soon anyways. Since we are in Texas where the weather is never what you think it will be, short sleeves, bare feet, and sweat pants are totally acceptable.
  5. Last, don’t forget the pumpkin! Since it is that time of year, pumpkins can be purchased at any grocery store. I chose the smaller kind (I’m sure there’s an official name for it, but to me they are just big pumpkins and little pumpkins) since this is the first time I’ve unleashed the tiny whirlwind with paint.

img_6616img_6611(Yes, I’m afraid my son will be left-handed like his “Honey” Sandra.)
So something to keep in mind, this craft is really meant for the kiddos. He learned how to scoop colors on his own, put them on the pumpkin, and did his craft pretty much on his own. Somehow, he ended up with hardly any paint on his clothes or hands. He did drip a little on his foot, immediately said “Mommy! Nasty-Yuck!” then proceeded to wipe it off with a paper towel without me having to tell him. I’m pretty sure THAT was a fluke–I won’t expect all of our painting crafts to be that clean. If babies use their hands to paint though, think of it as a learning experience. Otherwise you’ll drive yourself nuts and no one will have any fun.

Something I would have done different, I would probably use acrylic paint instead of tempera if I were to do this project again. The tempera paint rubs off very easily if it’s bumped on something. If any of you have tried this yourself and have any stories, tips or pointers, please feel free to leave a comment!
😉 Joni